By Adam Roberts – 11/4/2020
The early 21st century at the Kohl Center was defined by the Bo Ryan style of basketball for the Wisconsin men. It was a style often duplicated in high school gyms across the state in an attempt to prepare potential Badgers for what they would encounter at that level, and for good reason. In between 2001 and 2015, the Ryan-led Badgers won 364 games, seven Big Ten titles, never finished lower than fourth in the conference, never missed the NCAA tournament, went to back-to-back Final Fours and played in the 2015 National Championship game.
For all his contributions to modern Badger basketball, Ryan is going to be enshrined among the immortal at the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.
As of right now, an official induction ceremony is on hold due to the pandemic, but Ryan says he is very happy to be a part of the Hall, and in particular he is glad he’ll be joining alongside former player Mike Wlkinson.
“Mike was such a delight to coach” says Ryan. “Just such a hard worker, soaked up everything that was given to him. [He] showed respect for everyone in the program…truly one of those guys that was happy to be there.”
A native of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, Wilkinson was the personification of a Bo Ryan guy; he played through his senior year, averaging 14.3 points per game and earning an All-Big Ten First Team selection his senior year. He was also just the second player in school history to finish with at least 1,500 points and 800 rebounds.
Ryan entered the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.